As we approach the close of 2023 and open our hearts to a new year, I’d like to explore a concept that has helped me grow and rise above the many challenges I encountered this past year.
The first idea is that everything in our world, even when it’s not what we desire, has its place.
The second idea is that we can approach challenges with a little more ease with a gesture of kindness.
As entrepreneurs and parents, we often find ourselves caught up in a whirlwind of various interactions as we play ping pong in our different roles!
Whether it’s dealing with difficult clients, vendors, teammates, or even our own family, there are moments when we feel stuck, facing challenges and uncertainties.
But what if there was a way to gracefully navigate these moments with empathy and understanding?
Tara Brach, one of my favorite mindfulness teachers through the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP) shares valuable insights on this topic.
She beautifully conveys the idea that our lens – (our self-perception) greatly influences how we view and accept the world around us.
When we experience anxiety, loneliness, or low spirits, it often originates from our inner critic or a feeling of overwhelming inadequacy.
This self-judgment not only disconnects us from our inner power but also hurts our connections with others.
So, what’s the remedy?
Tara suggests “a gesture of kindness.“
Imagine this: the next time you find yourself in a negative downward spiral, simply pause.
Gently place your hand on your heart, allowing the touch to be tender, and send a compassionate message inward.
It could be as simple as telling yourself, “It’s alright, my dear,” or “I genuinely care about this suffering,” or even just silently saying my favorite phrase, “This, too.”
This act of fierce self-compassion can also involve accepting whatever you’re experiencing, recognizing that it’s a natural part of life at this moment, and that it’s okay.
If you notice yourself being overly critical, try whispering to yourself, “Forgiven, forgiven.”
Not because you’ve done something wrong, but because there’s some judgment to release.
As you offer yourself this gesture of kindness, take a moment to stay present with yourself, offering yourself companionship.
Allow whatever needs attention to surface, and acknowledge that you possess the capacity to embrace whatever emerges within you.
However, don’t limit this kindness solely to yourself.
Expand it to others. Pay attention to what or who else resides in your heart space.
Perhaps it’s an entrepreneur friend grappling with disappointment, a family member facing illness, or our teen battling self-doubt.
Intentionally extend a gesture of kindness to them as well.
Through consistent practice, you’ll find that this response to life becomes increasingly spontaneous and natural.
It becomes an authentic expression of your true self.
The mantra, “This too,” helped me during challenging times, and I hope you find it useful both for yourself and those around you.
Obstacles are abundant, but let’s remember that a gesture of kindness is a potent tool.
It can bridge gaps, nurture understanding, and cultivate a harmonious culture where everyone feels they belong.
So, dear entrepreneurs, in 2024, let’s practice “A Gesture of Kindness” and see how it brings love in our hearts and peace to our world.
Wishing you love and light and a Happy New Year!
CEO, Citrus Studios